How microservice and APIs fast-track the digital transformation of your business

How microservice and APIs fast-track the digital transformation of your business

In a recent article in Forbes,  it was stated that nearly 70% of businesses worldwide have either begun their digital transformation or have a digital transformation strategy in place and are preparing to execute it. Technological advancements are driving the pace for modern businesses and innovation is inevitable. Eventually how businesses adapt to the ever-changing digital environment is what will set them apart.

Innovation and modernization are no longer just a choice. With competition heating up, it has become a necessity. Companies that can’t keep up with the technology are destined to fail.

Digital transformation

Most businesses have understood the importance of digitization.  Companies understand that they have to make it easier, faster and more convenient for their customers to access their products and services. Despite having complex IT systems, companies need faster and better ways to integrate varied and disparate systems and technologies.

The harsh reality is digital transformation poses many challenges. There are quite a few hurdles companies must overcome to ensure successful digitalization. The biggest challenge is migrating core business architecture to a digital-first paradigm. 

A legacy eCommerce platform holds you back

Legacy eCommerce platforms come in all shapes and sizes. While they may originate as a specific platform, over the course of time, they accumulate add-ons and customizations. Such home-grown solution at  eCommerce companies tweak their platforms to solve problems and add features. However, the band-aid style of evolving a platform is outdated and dangerous. It’s an immediate solution that allows the underlying problem to fester, and grow, finally becoming too big to fix. Companies eventually grapple with more custom code, adding to a complicated mess.

Legacy eCommerce platforms such as this become a black hole for resources. The business loses countless hours, trying to make things work seamlessly and reliably while adapting to future needs. Eventually, this ad-hoc style of development leads to poor business strategies and alignment.

With continuing onslaught of competitors such as Amazon, your customer have come to expect more from their shopping experience. They’re demanding an engaging and personalized UX along with complete shopping journeys that span multiple channels.

Legacy eCommerce platform

However, legacy systems are still critically important to companies as they are often the backbone of the business. Legacy systems have nothing wrong with them, They still provide the functionality they were designed for. The problem is that’s all they will ever be able to do. Built using outdated technology, such platforms cannot leverage the latest capabilities such as cloud computing and are a challenge to integrate.

Your legacy platform holds you back and hinders digital transformation by preventing you from taking advantage of the latest technological innovations.

Time to go beyond legacy systems

The good news is that enterprises need not abandon their legacy platform when they migrate to newer technologies and build a new system. Microservices enable you to deliver advanced services to the business in days, without having to make any changes to your existing platform. They are the best solution towards modernizing your legacy eCommerce platform.

eCommerce microservices and their importance

Here’s a step-by-step explanation of basic microservice concepts.

Fundamentally, microservices are small programs that provide a service for a specific business function. Architecturally, microservices represent a modular approach to applications. Each microservice takes care of a specific function or service and can be deployed independently.

Another salient feature of microservices is that they are loosely coupled enabling development teams to build the entire platform as a collection of services. 

Each microservice is self-contained meaning developers don’t have to worry about how changes in one will impact the other. They focus on specific functions or eCommerce business processes, such as:

  • Order Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Catalogue Management
  • Payment Processing
  • Loyalty, Offer and Discounts Management

eCommerce microservices

While there is no standardized model to represent them in every system based on a microservice architecture, there are commonalities in terms of how they are developed and deployed depending on the role they perform. Primarily, microservices have the following features.

  • Modular with multiple components

The microservice-based architecture allows you to break down the application into multiple service components. This enables development teams to deploy, change, and redeploy individual microservices. This makes it easy to upgrade, change, or remove these services to meet the needs of the business. It also makes it less risky to integrate new technologies without redeploying the entire platform.

  • Simple message routing

Microservices receive calls, process them, and generate responses. Picture microservices as smart mini-programs. They rely on smart endpoints to process the information, apply business logic and provide responses.

  • Fault-tolerant and failure resistant

Since microservices communicate with each other, when one service fails, the other services can continue to function without any problems. Rather than crashing the entire eCommerce platform, only the service that failed will be unavailable while the other microservices continue to work, unaffected.

  • Orientated towards business priorities

A microservice architecture mandates cross-functional development teams as each microservice is deployed independently. This enables planning the development process around business priorities and capabilities. 

  • Distributed and decentralized

Centralized governance typical of a monolithic platform does not work in the context of microservices where development teams strongly favor decentralization since it enables collaboration. Microservice architecture also favors decentralized data management with each service typically managing its own data store. 

Major benefits of microservices architecture

Microservices can be a key element of a successful digital transformation. For businesses that rely on legacy IT, transitioning from monoliths to headless commerce and microservices offers various benefits. The major benefits of microservices architecture for a future-ready eCommerce platform are as follows.

  • Unmatched scalability with microservices

It’s easier and more cost-effective to scale services in a microservice architecture than in a monolithic system as making changes to existing services and adding new business capabilities is a matter of improving or adding new microservices. This leads to unmatched agility when it comes to development speed without affecting the stability of the application.

  • Greater business agility with microservices

Microservices enable agile workflows as different developer teams can work on different features and services simultaneously. As microservices can be developed, tested, and deployed within days, it allows organizations to take advantage of new services immediately, instead of waiting for months for new versions. This means businesses can adapt to changing requirements prioritizing features and services based on their strategic needs. 

  • Compartmentalization of knowledge and complexity

A microservice architecture empowers teams to develop each microservice as a self-sufficient and isolated program. In addition, developers can singularly focus on the complexity of the microservice they’re working on, without having to worry about things outside their domain of expertise. Such compartmentalization of knowledge makes it easier to develop and manage large applications. 

  • Enhanced productivity with microservices architecture

Developer time is precious and they are most productive when they can focus on the task at hand. It’s easier to understand a microservice With a specific functionality rather than an entire monolithic application.

  • Reduced time-to-market

The combination of improved developer productivity, faster development cycles along shorter testing time using an agile workflow mean that microservices help deploy services much faster. In a highly-competitive business environment such as eCommerce,  the ability to integrate new technologies and advanced solutions can be a powerful differentiator and advantage.

  • Easier to maintain

A microservices-based architecture makes it easier for developers to debug code and fix issues. The shorter development cycles focus on singular functionality and thus testing, debugging, and maintenance become routine tasks that get done without delay. 

  • Enhanced customer satisfaction

Architecturally, microservices are built around business capabilities. This makes it easier for developers to understand the end-user perspective behind each microservice when creating APIs. Thus, the ability to quickly respond to the business requirements and deploy solutions that meet its needs leads to higher customer experience and satisfaction.

  • Future-ready applications

New and updated technologies appear all the time. Enterprises relying on microservice architecture can replace, upgrade, or add new microservices easily instead of redesigning the entire application.

Digital transformation with microservices architecture

Microservice can help reduce time to market, optimize the resources used in digitization efforts while boosting customer experience and ROI significantly. For any business that wants to stay competitive in the digital era, microservices are a necessity. They are an excellent option to scale your enterprise. Every forward-thinking business needs to make them part of its digital transformation strategy.

The future is Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, and Headless: MACH 

A MACH architecture is built as independent components that communicate using lightweight APIs. Services are architectured for business capabilities. Each service performs a single function. The benefits are:

Total Cost of Ownership: All the microservices can be scaled independently, allowing cost and performance optimizations.

Composability: Each microservice is independent, making it easy to integrate with other services. 

High Availability: Even if one of the microservices is down, it won’t affect the entire eCommerce platform.

Seamless Adaptability: Since each microservices can be changed independently, new features, patches, updates, and upgrades become easier.

Evolve your Digital Commerce Business with Concord 

With technological advancement, business and consumer needs will evolve. Companies that want to scale need to be able to embrace a cloud-native architecture, headless commerce, APIs and microservice-based architecture if they want to thrive in tomorrow’s world.

Concord Commerce is based on MACH-X, a paradigm shift in how eCommerce is delivered. Get in touch with us to learn more.

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